Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday shared on Twitter what could only be described as a ‘WhatsApp forward’. Sidelined by the high-command of the BJP, he can often be found clutching at straws in order to undermine the central government.
On Tuesday, Subramanian Swamy took a jibe at petrol prices in India by invoking the Ramayana. He said that petrol cost Rs. 92 in “Ram’s India”, Rs. 53 in “Sita’s Nepal” and Rs. 51 in “Ravan’s Lanka”. While some might believe it was a clever jibe, the fact is it was far from the truth.
According to Nepal Oil Corporation, as of the 19th of January, the price of Petrol in Birgunj, a city in the Himalayan nation, was 108.50 in Nepali Rupees (NRs). On that date, the same in Raxaul, India was NRs 140.76. In Indian currency, that is Rs. 67.95 in Nepal and Rs. 88.15 in India.
Thus, quite clearly, the price of petrol was much higher in Nepal than the one suggested by Subramanian Swamy even on the 19th of January. According to NOC, the current selling price of Petrol is NRs 110 which translates to Rs. 68.89.
In Sri Lanka, as well, the cost of petrol is Rs. 61 as of now and not Rs. 51 as claimed by Swamy. The cost of petrol was Rs. 51 in Sri Lanka in September 2019. It appears that the cost mentioned in Swamy’s tweet cited the September 2019 cost in Sri Lanka.
In India, the cost of petrol is in the higher Rs. 80s in most places while in Mumbai, it is Rs. 92.86. Thus, unlike what Subramanian Swamy suggests, the difference in petrol price between India and Nepal is Rs. 20 at most places or slightly under or above. Compared to Sri Lanka, it is in the higher 20s and not 40s.
It is not a secret that the retail price of petrol is higher in India than elsewhere. The price is raised by the taxes that are imposed on it by the government to fund its expenses in other sectors. For instance, in August 2018, the price of petrol in Delhi was Rs. 77.49 per litre. This included Excise Duty of Rs 15.33 /litre, Dealer Commission (Average) Rs 2.51 /litre and VAT (including VAT on Dealer Commission) is Rs 10.16/litre.
Thus, of the Rs. 77.49 that was the cost, Rs. 25.49 was just taxes. Things have not changed in the opposite direction since then.
Amusingly enough, Subramanian Swamy appears to have launched a crusade against the Union Budget that was presented by Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday even though it has earned praise from all quarters of the political spectrum.
The disgruntled leader has also been retweeting abusive tweets on the social media platform directed at those who have criticised him.
Subramanian Swamy has also been retweeting tweets that say the BJP ‘IT Cell’ and Prime Minister Modi are scared of him.
It is no secret that Swamy has not taken well to being sidelined from the party. Unable to affect any real changes, he can be often spotted on social media peddling misinformation. Most recently, he had floated conspiracy theories to claim that the Red Fort siege on Republic Day was a PMO plot. He also went on an anti-vaccine rant to target the Modi Government over Covid-19 vacines.